The keel for the future USS Patrick Gallagher (DDG 127), was ceremonially laid at General Dynamics Bath Iron Works (BIW), March 30.
The ship is named for Marine Corps Cpl. Patrick Gallagher, who received the Navy Cross for heroism during the Vietnam War when he managed to jump on and throw an enemy grenade into a river. He was killed in action just one year later. The keel laying marks the 55th anniversary of his death.
A contemporary keel laying ceremony recognizes the moment of a ship’s construction when two significant pieces of the hull structure are welded together and joined, constituting a major portion of the ship’s shape. The authentication or etching of the ship sponsors’ initials into a ceremonial keel plate will take place during the ceremony. The sponsors of DDG 127 are Gallagher’s three sisters: Teresa Keegan, Rosemarie Gallagher, and Pauline Gallagher.
“The future USS Patrick Gallagher will strengthen our maritime dominance and bring proven capability to the fleet,” said Capt. Seth Miller, DDG 51 class program manager, Program Executive Office (PEO) Ships. “This ship and all who serve aboard it will be a reminder of the steadfast commitment to our country that Cpl. Gallagher exhibited.”
The final Arleigh Burke-class destroyer built in the Flight IIA configuration, DDG 127 is equipped with the Aegis Baseline 9C2 Combat System, which brings crucial Ballistic Missile Defense capabilities to the Fleet in addition to the ship’s primary missions of anti-air, anti-surface, anti-submarine, and strike warfare.
BIW is also currently in production on the future USS Carl M. Levin (DDG 120), USS John Basilone (DDG 122), USS Harvey C. Barnum Jr. (DDG 124), USS Louis H. Wilson Jr. (DDG 126), USS William Charette (DDG 130), and USS Quentin Walsh (DDG 132).
As one of the Defense Department's largest acquisition organizations, PEO Ships is responsible for executing the development and procurement of all destroyers, amphibious ships, sealift ships, support ships, boats and craft.